California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders agreed to seek more time to reduce California's prison population while committing hundreds of millions of dollars to ship inmates out of state and to local facilities if the request is denied, reports the Sacramento Bee. The agreement reflects a compromise between Brown, who proposed spending $315 million on alternative lockups, and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, who lobbied for spending on drug and mental health treatment and rehabilitation programs instead.
In exchange for Steinberg's support for increased prison spending, the governor agreed to present federal judges with an alternative approach to relieving prison crowding, focusing on long-term diversion and recidivism-reduction. If the court grants the state more time to comply, the state would divert to a fund aimed at reducing the number of prisoners who re-offend the first $75 million it might have spent on prison housing. In addition, the bill would provide incentives to local probation departments to keep felony probationers from returning to prison. The state is under court order to reduce California's prison population by nearly 7,700 by year’s end.